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Egypt court upholds seizure of Ever Given as compensation negotiations continue

The container ship 'Ever Given' is refloated, unblocking the Suez Canal on March 29, 2021 in Suez, Egypt [Mahmoud Khaled/Getty Images]
The container ship 'Ever Given' is refloated, unblocking the Suez Canal on March 29, 2021 in Suez, Egypt [Mahmoud Khaled/Getty Images]

An Egyptian court has ruled that the Ever Given ship which blocked the Suez Canal in March will continue to be held in the waterway as negotiations continue between its owner and insurance parties.

The ship got stuck on a single-lane stretch of the canal on 23 March on its way to Rotterdam and was eventually freed by a flotilla of tugboats as over 400 vessels queued up on either side of it.

Many ships were forced to reroute around the Cape of Good Hope.

The story went viral following a photo posted on Instagram of the vessel the size of four football fields sideways across the strip of water with what looked like a minuscule tugboat digging to free it.

READ: We are harassed by security forces and censored, says Egypt journalists

Egyptian authorities impounded the vessel in April following an earlier court order and said it would not be allowed to leave the country until compensation is paid by its owner after the 400-metre ship blocked the canal for six days bringing global shipping to a halt.

The Japanese owner of the ship, Shoei Kisen Kaisha has appealed against the detention of the ship and has applied to the International Convention on Limitation Liability to have the claims capped at $115 million but failed to have the decision overturned.

Last month the technical managers of the Ever Given said that the decision to arrest the ship is "extremely disappointing" and that the crew and managers have "cooperated fully with all authorities."

The Suez Canal Authority is demanding $916 million in damages to cover the costs of stalled canal traffic, the rescue operation, and loss of transit fees whilst the ship was stuck.

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